Tag Archives: cooperative

thing 7 – digital citizenship

Personal Information on the Web

Because I teach high school students, most of whom are seniors, I think one of the most impactful things I could teach them about digital citizenship is the amount of information they share online. I found the following resources to be really great:

Six Degrees of Information   |   You’re Not as Private as You Think   |   Your Digital Dossier

I would likely use these at the beginning of the personal finance unit I do to show students that what they post now can affect their income earning potential in the future. If a future employer sees inappropriate information or photos, that could impact their ability to get a job with a company they want to work for. It could also affect opportunities for scholarships and advancements. Besides education and career opportunities, students can lose personal privacy and even be more prone to identity theft if they over share their lives.

ID Theft Face Off Screenshot

thing 7 - id face off


thing 4 – communication tools

Skype in the Classroom

My Skype username is colleen.davenport81 and here is evidence of me using Skype to chat with my husband and my sweaty baby on a humid summer’s day. 🙂

thing 4 - skype


I’ve been brainstorming for awhile how I would use Skype in my classroom and I’ve come up with these ideas:

  1. Contacting a professor at MSU or another university and having him/her explain a tricky economics topic to my classes.
  2. Each semester I have a banker come speak to my classes about personal, real-life banking, investments, and budgeting. I think using Skype to do this would be great because then they can stay at their offices and get some work done in between classes, plus they don’t have to travel. While they have given out materials to students in the past, I could have them mail materials or drop them off ahead of time (or I could pick them up). I think this saves everyone time and still gives students an interactive opportunity.
  3. Chatting with students who are absent about what we covered in class, even if I chat with them from home. I’ve had some students miss extended amounts of time due to illnesses and this would be so helpful! Even if students missed just a day of class and wanted to catch up and clarify, this would be helpful.
  4. Chatting with students and creating an online office hour session (I could create a group in Skype for this) for students to ask questions. This would be really great with a hybrid class that doesn’t meet everyday. I could set up office hours during the time we would normally meet and/or have times in the evening for them to chat.
  5. Have students work in groups even if someone is absent. They can Skype and discuss what they need to work on.

I’ve also used Google Hangouts (and I’ve even used it as a baby monitor when we forgot our monitor while visiting friends) and I really like how it’s integrated with my Google account so that I don’t have to log in to another tool.

BackChannel Chats

I haven’t really used back channel chats before, but I can see using one while I’m explaining a concept, or even just having one open during most class sessions for students to ask questions of one another. I suppose not every activity we do would require a back channel chat, but it would be nice for students to be able to get ideas from one another.

thing 3 – collaboration tools

Google Templates

I found the following budget spreadsheet template and it would be super useful for the personal finance unit I do with my students. Part of the unit includes creating a detailed budget based on the starting salary of the job they hope to get once they graduate college or trade school. I would make some modifications to this template, but I think it would be more useful than having students do this portion in the word document I share with them. The most useful part is that students can enter in their numbers and it gives them totals in the spreadsheet so they don’t have to do it by hand!

thing 3 - budget template

Google Docs and Doodle

Here is a presentation I use for my students that I made in Google Docs on Demand Elasticity. I had Dan make some comments in it as well of things I could improve with it.

thing 3 - google comment

And here is a Doodle I made with Dan. I’ve used Doodle for several years now and I really like it. It’s such a simple way to see when people are free and to schedule a meeting or plan an event. We use it with friends and with colleagues since it’s such a useful tool!

thing 3 - doodle

Student Usage: I use Google Docs quite often with students. I often create spreadsheets for students to post links to share their work and I encourage them to use Google tools to work together on their assignments. For example, when students create their budgets, they work together for one section of it and so I have them use Google docs to share their work and collaborate in real time instead of sharing files back and forth. I also have them create websites together and presentations about econ concepts together.

Trello and Lino

Below is an image of a Trello I made for home/personal use. We have an old house that needs some updating, so I made this to start organizing the projects and to create checklists for them. I can also see using this tool in my classroom to organize the lessons I need to create or update for units of study. (I’d probably give each unit it’s own board with it’s own set of checklists). This tool definitely beats using sticky notes because all the information is in one place instead of on several notes!

thing 3 - trello

While I didn’t create a new board on Lino, I did brainstorm a bunch of things I’m excited to do with it. I’ve used a similar tool in the past called Padlet (it used to be called Wall Wisher) and it’s a fun, easy tool to use. I think Lino might be even easier though! I plan on having students use it to:

  • read articles and post their summaries and their responses to questions about those articles. I would put students into groups and each group would respond on their assigned board.
  • create boards to present to the class on an assigned topic
  • create boards to organize group projects in class and list out what they are each going to contribute and post links and images to share with their group members
  • build a wiki-type page that is much more aesthetically pleasing (and easier to use) than an actual wiki

I think I could also use it to post lists of resources for each unit of study as well. I have a class website with that information on it, but maybe I will experiment with creating a Lino page and seeing if students like viewing the information in that format better. I can put the links and images and assignments I use all on a Lino page and link to it from my website so students have everything all on one screen.

thing 2 – face of my classroom

How I use my classroom website

thing 2 - class website

I have had a classroom website for several years. It’s an invaluable tool for communicating with students and parents, posting assignments, posting due dates and information about upcoming assessments, and to have a class presence that students can access at any time and any place.

I have recently updated my class website; I originally had it hosted on my own domain, but since I didn’t teach this year and I may not go back next year, I decided not to continue paying for the domain name. So, I migrated everything into WordPress instead (which was easy since I had WordPress installed on my other domain!). When I migrated over, some of the links to the videos I use as well as the links to assignments that I share with students via my dropbox, were disabled. I re-enabled a few of the video links and the first assignment link on this page so you can get an idea of what I share with students.

When students go to my site, they will see the weekly assignments and due dates as well as the learning objectives for each day’s lesson. When they click on a unit page, they will find video resources and links to assignments. If they ever forget what they are supposed to do for the class, it’s all on the website! They can also find links to note-taking tools and reading guides. I rely so heavily on my class website that I can’t imagine teaching without it. It’s where I put ALL of my classroom materials and supporting tools so that students can access the class all of the time.

In addition to the class site, I use Moodle as a place for students to upload assignments and to complete formative and summative assessments. Using Moodle has enabled me to give students almost immediate feedback, and because of that, I have more time to give students to re-take assessments in order to master the material. If you’d like guest access to my Moodle class, let me know and I’d be happy to let you take a look around!

thing 1 – cloud initiation

Part 1: Diigo

Link to my diigo page: https://www.diigo.com/user/teacherleenthing 1 - diigoDiigo will help me be more productive because I can access my bookmarks anywhere, on any device. If I’m planning at home and need to find the link at school, it will be in diigo.  So helpful!  I used to use Delicious, but I hadn’t used it in years so I think my account was terminated. 😦 But as I lesson plan and find new tools, I will add them to diigo and I will use their “Lists” feature so that I can organize the sites I find even better. It definitely beats emailing myself links to sites to use in the future because every site I add is in one place, is organized into a list, and is tagged for easy searching.

Another diigo feature I discovered is that when I highlight text on a webpage, it gives me the option to annotate it and save my note for when I visit the page again. That is awesome! I can see having students use that feature to do research and using it myself to leave “sticky notes” on pages to remind me what I use/need on a particular page.

Part 2: Dropbox

thing 1 - dropbox

I have used Dropbox for several years now and I don’t think I could go back to uploading documents to a flashdrive or my school’s teacher drive. It’s so convenient to be able to access my files anywhere at anytime, and to know that when I save something to Dropbox I have the most up-to-date version. I remember accidentally sending my flashdrive through the washing machine years ago and feeling panicked that I lost all of my work (even though it was on my computer, I wasn’t sure if all the changes I had made to files had been updated in both places.) Thankfully it still worked, but with Dropbox, I don’t need to carry that with me. I also don’t need to email myself documents to use at work or home since they’re all in one place. I love Dropbox and will probably never go back!



thing 17 – professional learning networks

thing 17 - twitter feed

Using Twitter: I’ve never used Twitter before this class, mostly because I felt like it was a time waster. 🙂 I didn’t really think of using it for professional learning and networking; I figured it was a place for people to post things like how they saw a picture of a cat toasted on their bread that morning. Ok, maybe not that bad, but it seems like another venue, like Facebook, where people post random things about their lives. (Which I happened to do in one of my posts…)

However, I like the idea of using it for professional learning. It’s a quick and easy was to get ideas and find links to new tools. Matinga mentioned during the live session that she checks her Twitter feed while she drinks her morning coffee and then she’s done for the day. It seems like it can get overwhelming trying to sift through all the stuff that gets posted, but I like the idea of checking it for a few minutes, looking for specific ideas related to teaching and technology that I can apply to my work. I think it will be a useful tool to help me keep abreast of all the new changes and tools that come out. Plus it is kind of fun to read friends’ silly posts. 🙂

LearnPort: I think my favorite tool that LearnPort offers is access to NetTrekker. Even though I typically forget about using this tool when I have my students research, it’s so useful since the resources are curated and vetted by teachers and are listed by reading level! Kathy Kowalski always talks about how great it is, and I keep forgetting about it! I also didn’t realize that there were so many recordings of webinars that I can access. There are many great sounding recordings on using mobile devices, techy tools, and Android apps in the classroom. This seems like it will be a helpful resource when I am looking for ideas on how to spice things up in my lessons.

MACUL: Being a member of MACUL is great because I can easily get updates of new tech tools available and practical ways to use them in my classroom. I get the monthly newsletters and they are great because they always have little things to explore and try in my lessons. And I don’t have to search for the things myself – they’ve already done the work! I also just joined SIG for Online Learning, and I’m looking forward to getting more ideas of how to teach my blended class. I think I can get lots of ideas for putting lessons and resources online and learn some new tips and tricks for using Moodle. I think it will be a very useful resource as I progress with online instruction.

Connected Educator Videos: These are great! I watched a video on video assessment, and Laura Bell, the teacher who made the video, describes in detail how she has students use video in her classroom to demonstrate their understanding of concepts. I love using creative tools for assessment and I’m so excited to try this out.  I’m looking forward to watching the other videos, especially since they are from people who have used the tools they are talking about and they have real examples of ways they have used them. Fun!